“Money often costs too much.” ―Ralph Waldo Emerson
Today, in most societies, the pursuit of wealth has become inevitable— almost as if the desire to be rich is already a forgone conclusion in our lives.
The prevailing view is that wealth is good, that it should be pursued, that material possessions and riches enhance our enjoyment in life, and that wealth provides opportunity to find greater fulfillment in life.
But recently, I have come to realize the pursuit of riches is based on a faulty premise. It is based on the incorrect rationale that the presence of money is always good—that it always brings benefit into our lives. This is not always the case.
Once our basic needs have been met, money contributes very little to our overall happiness and well-being. But more than that, there are actually a number of inherent dangers in possessing riches. Or maybe I should say, at the very least, there are better things to be than rich. And we’d live more fulfilled lives if we began chasing after them with as much intensity as we seek riches.
Consider just this short list of Things Better to Be Than Rich:
Content. Contentment is far more valuable than riches because whoever finds contentment is always satisfied. Money comes and goes—sometimes quickly. But contentment rises above our circumstance and offers happiness regardless of our financial state.
Generous. Jeff Shinabarger says it well, “Anything we find that is more than enough creates an immediate opportunity to make others’ lives better.” Our resources can accomplish great things in this world—but not if we keep them to ourselves.
Free. Jim Sollisch has recently come to this understanding. Often in our pursuit of wealth and bigger bank accounts, we sacrifice freedom. We think riches will provide greater freedom for our lives, but we rarely recognize how much freedom we have actually sacrificed in our attempt to simply find more of it.
Selfless. Choosing to live selfless lives that seek the benefit of others brings meaning, purpose, and lasting impact to our short lives. While living selfish, self-centered lives is neither attractive or fulfilling.
Honest. No compromises, no regrets. Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and harmful desires. Given the choice, we should choose honesty, integrity, and character any day. It makes laying our head on the pillow each night that much sweeter.
Passionate. It is far greater to have a career and life we love waking up to in the morning than a high-paying job that brings no satisfaction, provides no positive contribution, and provokes no passion in our day.
Dependent. There is greater security to be found in lasting, trusting relationships than wealth. Dependence on others teaches us this truth. But even more importantly, it also allows us to experience the goodness of other people.
Compassionate. The statistics continue to hold true. The more wealth we obtain, the less compassion and empathy we feel towards those without. And as a result, the less we contribute.
Humble. Wealth often brings with it a certain level of pride—or at least, a more-necessary intentionality to remove prideful tendencies. Sometimes this pride comes from within and sometimes it is encouraged by others. Meanwhile, humility quietly calls us to embrace its hidden power and freedom. It would be a shame to miss it at the expense of riches.
Resourceful. Learning how to live with less is an important pursuit. It teaches us the value of the things right in front of us and forces us to appreciate them even more.
Connected. Riches do not result in deeper relationships. In fact, often times, they have the opposite effect. But intimate, connected relationships continue to provide the joy in our lives money can never produce.
Perseverant. Perseverance is a powerful characteristic that can only be discovered through trial. And while riches cannot remove every trial in life, they can often remove just enough to keep perseverance from ever taking root in our heart.
Happy. As I mentioned, once our basic needs have been met, money contributes very little to our overall happiness and well-being. Gratitude, generosity, and contribution produce far more. And that is the real goal: to live lives of joy and fulfillment and help others to do the same.
Now, please don’t misread me. I am not contending that those with riches cannot also be content, generous, humble, or connected. I know many incredibly generous people who could also be described as wealthy. And I would never contend that those without wealth are better simply by the nature of that qualification. Lastly, I would never confess to have arrived fully in any of the categories listed above.
But I do believe with all my heart the pursuit of riches can lead to great danger. It is not a pursuit to be automatically accepted as the wisest course of action for our lives. In fact, as soon as it is removed, we provide greater opportunity for these better things to be true in our lives. And there are indeed, far better things to be than rich.
Image: Daniele Zedda
Hi Joshua, I appreciate your blog and perspective and also find beauty and joy in simplicity. But living simply after having had more financial resources has grown tiresome. At first (for many years) it was a breath of fresh air to realize that I didn’t need material things to be happy, but now it has become a constant reminder of what I don’t have, trips I can’t take, etc.
I’d like to believe that if I continue to focus on being content, grateful, compassionate, etc. then my life will shift. Sometimes I lose the faith. Thanks, Brad
Correction: emotionally detached, not attached.
I don´t agree with your analysis of the rich vs the poor. You can be a rich or poor human being with all these bad or good traits. It has nothing to do with how much money you accumulate or not. Some rich people are greedy, bad connectors etc.
The same can be applied to some poor people as well. As I see it, if you can accumulate wealth and/or material wealth in general and then be emotionally attached to losing that wealth and start over, then you are OK. It is how we look at money, material wealth, human beings, relations etc that is the issue. It has to do with the human soul, nothing else.
You can be giving, loving and all those things and still be richer than any other human being on earth. Material wealth and empathy are not, necessarily, separate things. It has to do with the humans possessing it. There is a saying that goes something like this “money only acts as a magnifying glass”. Meaning, if you are a greedy human being while being poor, money will only magnifiy that behaviour in relation to how much money you accumulate. The same goes with all other vices and virtues. You become more of who you already are. That means poor people have to possess the same vices and virtues that rich people possess. Remember, we are all human beings.
It´s the psychology that is the problem when it comes to money. Money is not the root of all evil. Money does not have a soul. Money recieves a purpose based on who possesses it or who is looking for it. So change your attitude first and the material wealth will be a better proposition for all than not having it at all.
NOTE: who can give more Money to Charity and change more lives? The rich person with a billion dollars or a poor person (although nice and kind) with 100 dollars in his pocket? Your chance of helping more people increases with your bank account. Like it or not, but it seems like a fair assumption. With more money you can employ more people. You can assist more people at a grander scale.
joshua becker says
Thanks for the comment Mathias. My last paragraph was written specifically to address your concern. As I mentioned, “I would never contend that those without wealth are better simply by the nature of that qualification. And I am not contending that those with riches cannot also be content, generous, humble, or connected.”
I do disagree to a certain extent with “money only reveals who you are” thinking. While money is morally-neutral and not evil in and of itself, it does have a long track-record of changing people… and some of the research in the above article implies.
But just to be clear, this is not a post that contends wealth is evil. The article was written to simply call people to rethink their desire to be rich as a forgone conclusion in their lives.
Thank you for your reply to Joshua. They are very interesting. I like your attitude of searching for the Truth, I am the same.
I don’t agree with you about “who can give more money to Charity and change more lives? The rich person with a billion dollars or a poor person (although nice and kind) with 100 dollars in his pocket? Your chance of helping more people increases with your bank account. Like it or not, but it seems like a fair assumption. With more money you can employ more people. You can assist more people at a grander scale.”
Jesus Christ and his Disciples are good examples. Jesus did not have a lot of money, but his life set an example which help millions of people, his words changed millions of people. From generation to generation. He helped more people than anyone who is wealthier. So you can not say you can help more people with more money, because the important things that our world need is not what money can buy.
I believe God’s kingdom is: everyone work hard with their talent to contribute to the society and to serve one another, but everyone only takes what they needs, leave the rest for others to share.
But how to achieve this goal? Is it through wealthy people’s donation? Definitely not!
The only way to achieve this goal, I believe, is to live like this. work hard to contribute and serve, but only takes what you need. Set yourself as a good example for others, change people’s mind, so that we all have this same believe and goal. Your good example will be able to change more people than your money. From generation to generation.
I worked in an orphanage in China as a vice-director for 1 year in 2014. I tried to bring in more donations from churches and friends. Then I used the money to buy new desks, chairs, hot water systems, sport equipment, musical instrument etc for the orphanage. I have been too busy doing things, bookkeeping, writing children’s reports, translating letters between American sponsors and the orphans in China, teaching singing and piano, supervising cleaning duties, dealing with bullying and stealing, running library, snack shop, computer room, evening study session and bible study group, ……
I thought I would be able to help the orphans and they would love me. But I was wrong, very wrong.
I found that I am only a worker in their eyes, they don’t see me as a role model, they don’t want to be like me, to serve others without asking pay. They only want me because they need something.
The same goes with donations from wealthy people. It can make peoples rely on you and not treasure the materialistic things you help them. They will learn to take it for granted.
I don’t want this result. I want them to believe what I believe, to work hard and contribute and serve, only takes what you need. To achieve that I should have more one-on-one personal talk with them, caring for their emotional and spiritual needs, instead of focusing on their physical needs.
To read the bible and teach them is easy, but to live out the word of God and be a good role model for them is difficult. Very difficult, you need to give up yourself.
I should not use my salary to buy food for myself which is better than what the orphanage provides, instead, I should use my salary to buy food and share with everyone, to teach them sharing and giving, teach them how to “Love your neighbor as yourself”. And I should be happy and content with what the orphanage provides.
Just this one commandment “Love your neighbor as yourself” is already too hard for me to do.
Therefore, I don’t believe more money can help more people, I believe your personal example can help more people than your money.
Actually it is wealth which creates poverty. Prior to the advent of modern economics, as long as people had accsess to natural resources, poverty was an unknown condition. Take for instance the tribal peoples of Africa, or the American Indians, whom although they did from time to time experience resource shortages, prior to the arrival of the Europeans, they had no concept of the state of poverty. It is a fact that many of the native Americans would simply migrate to areas with more abundant natural resources when faced with shortages of those resources in a given area. It is also a fact that the inter-tribal conflicts, of the native Americans, which usually were centered around territorial hunting grounds were no where near as bloody or long lasting as that of the European religious/ economic conflicts. Today around the world, millions of people though they are surrounded by plentiful resources, and though they work hard day in and day out, they still live in poverty, thanks to a system which creates poverty for many, so that a few can enjoy great wealth.
I agree with you Joshua. No matter how much I fluff that mattress made out of hundred dollar bills it still gives me a pain in my back every morning.
Great post Joshua! The one I find most compelling is the compassionate trait, and I couldn’t agree with you more. I have certainly recognized this trait with a few wealthy people I know, almost as if they are disconnected from those in a different socioeconomic background. Kinda sad actually!
I was at a dinner last night and I was talking with a friend about this. He agreed when I said I don’t need to be rich, make a million dollars, or need several luxury cars. What’s good is there if you’re not really content? Money helps, but only to a certain extent before you get used to your wealth and go back to your “base” happiness level.
Are you familiar with Stoicism’s hedonic adaptation?
Karen @ Journey towards simplicity says
Thanks for another great post. It takes a lot of work and dedication not to glorify “busy”. I work with the homeless, mentally ill and poverty stricken in my city- and am confident in saying none of them ever intended to lead that sort of “minimalist” lifestyle. Most of the folks I see living off the grid are there by circumstance- not by choice. In fact, many think that having all the stuff “normal” people possess will make them happy. The “journey within” and the work that needs to be done there is often the most challenging task in life. Finding what matters most – one often realizes it has nothing to do with acquiring material things- but is more about connection, community, and contribution.
Whit B Nimble says
This is my favorite post that I’ve ever read from you. It is one that I’ll go back to multiple times because I struggle with the balance of wanting more/being content with enough.
Eva’s comment above has my head spinning, as I’ve never even considered that someone might consider me a slacker because I want to live with less. I’m going to go read “Why We Work”, and think about this a bit longer.
laura m. says
Whit B. I agree! Eva: I consider slackers, some who I’m acquainted with near me, as lazy, no ambition, and unmotivated to clean house and declutter. They are retired or work part time; their place is a mess, one lady had to have an exterminator for mice that hide in clutter. TV watching, playing computer games is their sole interest. Ms Glowing Green: I agree with you, free time is more important than stuff, financial independence, living off investments, makes it possible to pursue other goals. Minamalism/ a clean house builds self esteem.
Kay B says
To answer your question Eva- Yes there are some people living the minimalistic life-style motivated by a lack of ambition and competitiveness. Motivated solely by it.
In the quest to live with less, I have to ask myself what is truly important to me. As I am not a competitive person, I don’t desire a competitive career. A big house, nice car, nuclear family, these aren’t things that concern me. While some might say I have a chronic lack of ambition, I would argue that the things I deem important are simply different . I live for my free time, so I chose a career field that allows me to work little and make enough. While I could easily shell out money for a nice bike or computer component, I’m hesitant to spend more than $2,000 on a car, or much money on nice clothes. Minimalism can be embraced by those in any walk of life. Playing computer games or indulging in a lazy weekend does not a slacker make.
Great Post…I don’t particularly agree with the point on dependence…I believe that INDEPENDENCE, rather, will lead to one having a great sense of inner peace. Yes, it is good to ask for help if you need it, but ultimately, one should aim for independence…
joshua becker says
I think each person should provide for themselves and their family whenever capable. But the reality of life is that nobody is completely independent in and of themselves. And the sooner we recognize that we need others (rather than thinking we can eliminate that need), the sooner we become more willing to rely upon them.
Maybe it’s more interdependence…
Sometimes I wonder if some people living the minimalistic life tend to be motivated by a lack of ambition and competitiveness. I started to think that way after asking myself why I instantly was so attracted to reading about minimalistic and simple lifestyle after reading some blogs on the subject.
Since childhood I haven’t had any kind of ambitions or passions in life except for reading and learning and the only competition I ever willingly participated in was studying to get the best grades in school. People said at my graduation ” You will achieve much in your life”. I knew that was not true, at least not in the sense achievement supposed to look like in our western culture. I didn’t see myself in a high status and well paid job, big house and the other “necessary” things. Now at almost 40 I haven’t worked much, I earn the amount of money which is considered to little to even pay for necessities.
This minimalistic lifestyle fits the, in other’s eyes, under-achieving, lazy people, also those with low self-esteem. You can hide and mask yourself and get the identity “The minimalist”. Peter Shallard (.com/blog) writes also a little about this non-ambition among some so-called minimalists. I don’t fully agree wtih him, he goes to far, but at least he points at an issue seldom talked about in this context. Not all minimalists comes from a life full of stuff in the beginning.
joshua becker says
As you well know Eva, it is impossible to completely generalize any significant portion of the population. No doubt, there are some minimalists who embrace the lifestyle because of their lack of ambition. However, I think they are a minority in the movement, although it would be difficult to not assume they are certainly drawn to the principles.
For my own personal opinion, I’d direct you towards this post: Why We Work. It addresses the misplaced ambition of those who seek to work less.
Dear Joshua, I come from a country where there is a lot of poverty which at the same time is completely driven by consumerism. I have this impression – which could be wrong – that in my society that people who have less, or are struggling to maintain a certain standard, are less generous because they are fighting for things they don’t have. I usually find it easier to find generosity and charity in people who have had everything. I have the feeling that it’s easier for people who have or had it all to be a minimalist, because they are giving up something they’ve already experienced and which has not brought them fulfillment, whereas people who believe they don’t have enough cannot give things up as easily. Just a thought.
If you look at tax returns, you will find that in fact those who have less are often those who give the most (proportionally to their income). Obviously if you can’t meet your most basic needs, it may be harder to be generous, but study after study confirms that those who have less are often those who give the most. Money sometimes begets the love of money, meaning that the rich love money and are less willing to part with it. These are of course over-generalizations; individuals are all different.
laura m. says
I came from a middle class upbringing, struggled in my 20’s and 30’s like many young couples trying to pay bills and take vacation time. Now retired, I downsized because I don’t need to keep stuff I don’t use or too manyduplicates, some inherited. Selling, donating makes sense for retirees, passing down items, making the house easier to clean with less clutter. Seems back decades ago, most were minimalists as people didn’t have stuff everywhere. Only the wealthier households had stuff like boats, campers, wall units full of nik naks, books, stereo, TV, etc. I’m encouraging retirees to downsize, so more time for activities, free time to get out and enjoy walking, biking, tennis, etc. I go thru and unclutter several times a year. Just finished the kitchen cook wear this week, will take to a group home. I
Miss Growing Green says
Interesting perspective. Personally, I do not fit into the “minimalist that lacks ambition” category, and neither does my husband. We are both extremely competitive in our lives (both in recreational and career aspects). We have both been highly driven from a young age, and we also don’t fit into Joshua’s “people who don’t care about being rich” category.
I have always wanted to “be rich” so that I could have my money work for me. Instead of being tied to a 9-5 job working for someone else, I now have the freedom to do something meaningful with my time, and I more easily achieve the list of “things better to be than rich” now that I have that freedom.
I would agree with Joshua’s general assessment of the pursuit of riches, but I also think that if done with purpose and intent, the pursuit of money can lead to unmatched freedom, generosity, and fulfillment. When you achieve financial independence (by amassing enough money to live off your investments), I believe you have beat both the exorbitantly rich lifestyle, and the “minimalist” that only works enough to scrape by.
joshua becker says
Thanks for the comment Miss Growing Green. To my original point, you are a great example of the wide appeal of minimalism. I’d confess as well to be far more competitive than I should be.
Thanks also for your thoughts on the pursuit of riches. I’m glad you were able to find a point of disagreement in my writing. After all, if everyone agrees with everything being written, no one is growing and moving forward. That being said, I think unmatched freedom, generosity, and fulfillment is available to each person regardless of the financial situation and/or measure of wealth. However, the pursuit of wealth, by its very nature, precludes freedom as we are bound to its pursuit.
I actually sent an email to Joshua similar to this. Maybe it’s good to express myself here as well.
I grew up with “full of stuff in the beginning.” Eventually having a lot of things became overwhelming, and in turn I had to make a quick note of what is really important in my life. Suddenly, I get comments that I lack “ambition and competitiveness.” As if being a good journalist isn’t ambitious enough. As if wanting to write well isn’t good enough. As if wanting to have a mobile literacy program isn’t ambitious enough. I think it’s because all my passions aren’t high-income generating. But I’m happy.
I’m tired of having to defend myself about my moderate adversity to promos, sales, and what-have-yous. I just need the basics: food, shelter, time to sleep, read, write and be with my loved ones. I love spending my money on people I love–I treat them out from time to time. I feel more fulfillment in spending for others rather than myself 95% of the time. Mind you I don’t make that much… and almost 50% of my paycheck goes to the bills.
That’s how the minimalist lifestyle works with me. It makes me feel great despite the backlash I get about not being too ambitious. Money and material wealth is not the end-all goal. There is no goal for me, there is only life and happiness–two things I want to share with others.
Good Point, Myta!
Gavin West says
I’m currently beating myself up about not having invested in real estate more, instead of worrying about buying a country property to try to help my mum which hadn’t increased in value or worrying about how to help my son who has ADHD with schooling etc, and regreting it as now having to work more to achieve financial freedom to be able to do something more meaningful in life than work in bank and help rich people become richer. Every time I see what wealth they have I regrete having not put into place what I know for myself financially. How can I get over this feeling of failure and embrace this way of living. I feel like I’ve failed myself, wife and son, both who don’t hold it against me,but I feel deserve better.I worry about not having enough in future and how my son will be able to get on and buy a house to live in and not have to worry to much about having to work in a soleless job himself.
When I starts working at Salesian University, 18 years ago, I asked a Priest, who happened to be my boss too, that I was afraid I may not have ambitions. I have been told after returning from USA with a LSU degree that I could get a better paid job, other than the university.
The priest told me that unfortunately, ambitious is usually related to big incomes, so he asked, if i didnt pursue a big income, what was my ambition. With no doubt, i answer “a peaceful life”, and he repply, then you do have ambitions, that is your ambition.
After 18 years working in the same university, I have realized that I have reached my main ambition, a peaceful life, a job where I am been treated right, a good salary, a good offices hours. I realized that “a peaceful life” keeps being my main ambition.
Thank you Ana, your answer was truly healing!
I am also very surprised that my earlier comment gave so many answers. I don not at all avoid work, but i do avoid noise and beeing overly busy. I like to be peaceful at all times.
You said it! A peaceful life can be an ambition and very few pursue that. I worked in advertising for 18 years. Stress was part of life. Long working hours made it even worse. On top of it, since you are part of an organisation you also have to ‘handle’ other people’s egos. And all that really messes up with you. Yes you get a handsome salary but in the end it all seems worthless. In my 18 years of career I changed 11 jobs, thinking that I will be happy in the new organisation. But eventually I decided to call it quits and pursue peaceful life. It’s been 6 years I am freelancing and life was never better. Though I make less money than I would have made had I stuck to my corporate job.
Angela Flanagan says
Minimalism allows you the flexibility to pursue the type of life you want. You are not a slave to your possessions and you have more time to consider your next steps without being overwhelmed by stuff. And it is just that, stuff. I have had the experience of cleaning my mothers apartment after her passing and was both surprised how much fit into her 800 square feet as well as thankful she had the foresight to downsize well before she passed from her house. I have in laws who continue to bring in “stuff” to their home at a late age and I feel sorry for my husband when he will have to clear it out and distribute it among his family. It will be stressful. When we moved from our family home to an apartment we asked our adult children what they wanted from our belongings. Our daughter wanted one doll and our son wanted his aquarium. I had a lot of toys and baby items to sell at garage sales. I found the objects sold at rock bottom prices went to people who could then again appreciate them instead of being stored in our basement not being used. We also sold one car and only have one vehicle. We have overall reduced our footprint on the environment and that too makes us happy. Minimalism allows us to not judge ourselves against others but measures us against our own life goals and desires. Good luck with your journey.
There are a number of reasons why somebody may choose to adopt a minimalist life style, whether they are financially rich or poor.
A good argument for the minimalism is the concept of relative deprivation.
Relative deprivation occurs when people compare their position/ possessions with others and feel a sense of dissatisfaction when others have something of more value than them e.g. they have a Swatch watch and their friend buys a Rolex. This happens with all material possessions and creates a ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ effect. You can have millions of pounds and still feel dissatisfied because you can’t afford a private jet, and so strive towards that, because you’re ‘poor’ compared to those who can afford to buy one. Once you’ve covered the necessities in life, there’s not much difference between wanting the latest phone and wanting a private jet. It’s all just a case of comparing yourself to others and feeling that you are entitled the same possessions as them. This isn’t about ambition or financial status (people on low income are just as vulnerable to this as those on the highest income), it’s about an attitude.
In short, I believe that it is better to learn to live and be perfectly content with the minimal possessions, than constantly be striving for more no matter how much money you have. And that is why I embrace minimalism!
Self-rating and other-rating is how people develop inferiority and superiority feelings, not just of specific resources we possess, but of the whole person. It is one of the most unhealthy acts you can commit against yourself and others. Painful emotional disturbances result from rating persons rather than behaviour. p.37 Overcoming the Rating Game by Paul Hauck https://www.amazon.com/Overcoming-Rating-Game-Self-Love–Beyond-Self-Esteem/dp/0664253105/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1465770728&sr=1-1&keywords=overcoming+the+rating+game?
Jenn Lussier says
I can see where you are coming from, as it would initially ease the guilt of being unmotivated in some. That being said, being unmotivated may be symptom of an imbalance or depression in ones life… one that releasing guilt may actually help alleviate.
For me personally, this means less time shopping and pre-shopping (flyers, websites). It means less time working, less time watching cable…finding out what Jane bought so I should know what I should want..
This time is then opened up to find the richness in my child’s laugh, the anticipating look in his eyes as he waits to see how i will respond to something silly or inspired that he has said… It means time to play on the monkey bars with him (yes, I still do that) or bake cookies, or sing or enjoy the warmth of my partner’s arms, when we get to sleep in Sunday mornings, to contemplate my own thoughts….
Just thought I would add my 2 cents as to what this lifestyle means to me :)
Wishing you much happiness and love,
Nicole Dennis says
I wish I could attain the same measure of happiness you have in life Jenn, what is your secret? Were you happy from childhood onwards? I have always suffered with depression, my earliest memory being in grade 2. Thanks for a great post! Nik
Marinelle Brewster says
Thank you so much for allowing God to use you. I’m going through a physical and spiritual overhaul right now. Your Facebook page has just come at the perfect time in my life. I’ve been purging for weeks now. It’s taking some time but I was able to bring a few things at church last night to share with people. These things are beautiful but I don’t need. I’ve never felt more alive and hopeful. I’ve been weighed down by life and my possessions and I want to be free. I want to fully live out God’s purposes for my life and remove the noise and distractions.
Thank you for having the most encouraging page on fb.
My ambition is to spend more time with my loved ones. To accomplish this, I must work fewer hours. To work fewer hours means a smaller paycheck. To live on a smaller paycheck, I must buy, use and consume less. Hence, my motivation for minimalism.
Tarique Sani says
Eva, It is an unfortunate fact that most people need a lot of money to realise that money is overrated.
If we are not free to be non competitive and motivated more by the pursuit of leisure or I should say, leisure time, then indeed we are not free. We as Americans claim to live in the land of the free, even as we boast of an economic system that rewards those whom surrender the most freedom, while passively, but yet surely, punishing those whom attempt to live freely. Freedom, if it must be earned, is at best conditional privalidge; even slaves were sometimes allowed to purchase their freedom from their masters.
To compete with others for the things needed to sustain ourselves, is to surrender both ourselves and our freedom. If you must strive to live up to or preform according to the standards set by someone else, in order to be succsesfull, and even in order to escape poverty, then you are in no way free. Cooperation and sharing, are the cornerstones of both freedom and of peace.
It has been said by some, that the American dream has become the American nightmare. The sad truth is, that we are living a nightmare when even our dreams must be in conformance to some preditermind standard !
Tracy Mhluzana says
Hi eva, I used to have ambitions in my career and aquiring certain necessaties. I had my house, cars, kids in private schools etc etc. In 2014 I left my job and have since made it my ambition to live a peaceful, less complicated life. I spend so much more time with my kids and husband, my kids are in public schools and are top of there classes. I suffered from Idiopathic Intercrainal Hypertention, had 7ops and was living on meds. I have now even removed the shunt and have not used even a painkiller in these 2years. I run a soup kitchen, I give hope to those in hospital who have been diagnosed with life changing illnesses. I grow my own veg and it is my ambition and passion to live a self sustaining life free from even needing municipal services such as electric supply. By the end of 2017 I want to reach a point where I don’t buy any food and maybe I’ll even reach a point where I don’t need technology(still a though 1 lol). I may be spiritually motivated but I believe that we are not meant to live these useless busy lifes we live. So I’m of the opinion that any1 who goes against the grain n tries to live a minimilistic life is no lazy or lacking passion, ambition, given up on life etc but actually the opposit applies.